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The epilepsy smartwatch that could save lives

Wearable technology has taken off in recent years and only looks set to grow further, with technologies such as contact lenses which measure the amount of blood sugar in your system to a new wearable smartwatch which helps epilepsy patients track and manage their seizures without feeling stigmatized.

Embrace is a new invention designed and patented by the computing company Empatica, and although it looks like some of the most recent additions to the smartwatch market, it contains ground-breaking technology which could help save thousands of lives.

The minimalist design of the wearable invention consists of a thin square of metal held on the individual’s wrist and a thin coloured strap. The wearer can tell the time according to the position of two small LED lights in the central ring on the metal, and the device can also connect to your smartphone – a lot like other wearables on the market – enabling the wearer to receive information about their fitness, sleep patterns and more.

However, the Embrace device differs from other smart devices by including an epilepsy tracker within its design. According to recent statistics collected by the Institute of Medicine, one in 26 people in the United States will suffer an epileptic seizure at some point in their lifetime, yet many feel there is stigma attached to owning and wearing an epilepsy tracking device.

In order to track the wearer’s condition, the Embrace device uses clinical-grade sensors to detect electrodermal activity – the way that electrical signals spike through their skin. These electrical signals can also be used to determine factors like emotional state, whether we are angry, stressed or scared, and can also detect an oncoming seizure. When the device detects that a convulsive seizure could be about to occur, it automatically sends an alert to a designated friend, partner or caregiver, along with the wearer’s GPS tracked location.

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